Saturday, April 30, 2011

TRUMP CARD?

Donald Trump is the official "vulgarian" candidate of this election cycle. That he is running as a Republican has some thinking he's a Democrat "plant," which is as good a conspiracy theory as any other, I guess. The President released his real birth certificate to placate Trump's campaign, after the "birther" issue was considered both "fringe" and "dead" by many, myself included.


Here's what I think is in Trump's mind. Reagan had Carter's people "salivating" for him to be the nominee, as Obama's do now for Trump. Trump sees his high negative numbers as similar to Reagan's, and his opponent is close to Jimmy Carter status, economically. After successfully exploiting the "birther" issue, he will feel emboldened.


Reagan was a governor, though, as well as a celeb, and Trump has no government executive experience. This is a real problem, because as a celebrity businessman, he's seen fit to drop "F-bombs" in speeches, something that a presidential candidate has never done before, on purpose. Where Reagan spoke softly and with respect, Trump was loud and vulgar.


I also have to note that both have been tagged as "racist," though I can't find any justification for it, other than the fact that they're Republican. Trump would've saved himself the accusation if he had said "golf course" instead of "basketball court." Of course, he doesn't want to disparage golf courses, because he owns so many of them. This is an example of political stupidity, not racism.


If "the Donald" enters the GOP primary, he will bring out the best in the field to challenge him. If he wins the GOP nod, I'm writing in "Snooki" on my ballot. LOL! Seriously, though, I'd probably vote for him, over Obama, I'm ashamed to say. How much worse can it get? That's his TRUMP CARD.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Obama (Non) Doctrine: Is It A Good or Bad Policy?

The radical upheaval in the Middle East is the greatest challenge the Obama administration has faced, both politically and from an international security standpoint. Their responses in each situation have been both criticized and supported in a bipartisan manner, with strange bedfellows on each side. Behind all of that noise, everyone is looking for a "doctrine" that underlies all of his actions. Some have said there is no doctrine, and I agree. This may be a good thing, or not, but here are the pro's and cons:


Pro: Let's face it, every president muddles through international crises blind, regarding long-term consequences. Following a doctrine that can be read in a sound bite is not responsible foreign policy. The O.A. is taking each situation individually, and not using any "doctrine" to determine our involvement. Libya is an example of the US "limiting" our responsibility in a UN/Nato action. Maybe the President is right to balance all the variables, and choose a course that is different than the historic "military intervention?" This way, we don't make an ongoing committment that we can't fulfill, and don't promise similar support for every "uprising" in the region.


Con: There has to be a coherent and principled doctrine that underlies a nation's foreign policy. The Obama administration's lack of any such overarching policy is distressing to say the least. SecDef Clinton dragged him into action in Libya, and he's been trying to pass it off ever since it started. There actually is a pattern, if not a "doctrine:" Spend as much time as you like analyzing a "crisis," from every angle (national security, economic, geopolitical, partisan political, etc...) before doing anything overt. This often ends up as "doing nothing" (see Syria, Iran). It's also a lame excuse to fall back on when dodging questions about "friendly" autocratic leaders (see Saudi Arabia, Bahrain).


What are your pro's and con's of this administration's ME policy? Is there an "Obama Doctrine," or not, and is it a good or bad thing, either way?